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Christine L. Fry

In: The SAGE Handbook of Social Gerontology

Chapter 4: Social Anthropology and Ageing

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Social Anthropology and Ageing
Social anthropology and ageing

Of all the social sciences, social anthropology is arguably among the best suited to address questions arising from global change and its impact on the lives of individuals and the communities in which they live. As a child of the mercantile expansion of Europe, anthropology invented itself to explore the worlds of very different and alien native cultures. The intentions of this enterprise were many. A central concern, however, was to document the enormous diversity discovered in the 3000 cultures identified across the world. To begin to make sense of this variation, a theoretical framework was needed. Initially this involved models of history involving progressive change, including social evolution and diffusion. As the field emerged, however, attention shifted to ...

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